Thursday, June 13, 2013

Raining On Our Parade

 Raindrops keep falling on my head ...

Well, actually, The 22nd Annual Taste Of Amherst. 

Breaking news from Chamber Director Tony Maroulis: the culinary event is cancelled for TONIGHT, but God  (or Allah) willing will be more than happening on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Friday 6/14, 5-10pm; Saturday 6/15, 12-10pm; and Sunday 6/16, 12-4pm.

You don't bring me flowers ...

On a cheerier note the Amherst Business Improvement District has installed flower arrangements throughout the heart of the downtown, brightening up even a rainy day.


Anonymous said...

Love the flowers!!!!

Walter Graff said...


Anonymous said...

Interesting seeing who is and is not having a booth this year. No Judie's or Crazy Noodles this year but Antonio’s will be there which I believe will be the first time for them in a while.

And once again a lone Northampton restaurant, Lhasa Café what is the thinking behind just one from Noho? Why any at all or why not any of them who want to participate?

Larry Kelley said...

Yeah, that's why I gave Antonio's a free plug with the flowerpot photo.

Judie told me it's an awful lot of work, for a pretty much break even proposition; and it takes away from her main bread-and-butter business, a premier restaurant 100 yards away.

Hamp restaurants are probably still remembering the days when their Taste was in competition with ours.

Anonymous said...

Wait- I didn't get my emergency phone message informing me of The Taste postponement-

Don't tell me it will be used for emergrncies only from now on???

What if it rains on July 4th?

Walter Graff said...

A taste of Amherst should be more than what it is. Basically they are selling food out of a tent in a field filled with mosquitoes bypassing the town. Sure it's fun to sit in the grass and eat a $4 burrito but it could be so much more effective.

It's a pain to the restaurant owners, does little to sell their establishment and nothing to sell their brand nor the actual town, and ends up being more trouble for them then it's worth.

There are enough restaurants in downtown for the town to make it a street party. Close the strip in downtown, let restaurants sell their products on the sidewalk/street along with merchants.

Doing so does two things, introduces folks to food and also allows them to fill the restaurant for those that want more than something in a piece of tin foil but caters to the snackers/tasters. I've worked on a number of these street fairs as an organizer and one day will double income inside the restaurants. Far better for business than a tent far from the actual business.

Let local merchants offer sales on the street and more deals in the store creating traffic in their store. Basically allow local retailers/sellers to get a designated spot and sell their wares/foods/services. All of Amherst businesses have a chance.

Small fee for a 'booth' offsets cleanup, etc. Everyone from the street vendors to the storefronts gets a chance to sell representing all Amherst offers.

Fire department gets to set up a table with trucks for kids to see. Police have a cruiser for kids to look in and offer handouts on safety, etc.

A day of various artists perform on a center stage. Face painting, clowns, local talent contest. Make it one day 9a-6p event.

The common becomes a place for rides, the climbing wall, music etc.

This will do as much as a multi-day event in the common and do more for the town and awareness than "A taste" which is cute at best.

Sell Amherst and all it has and not make it a presentation that does little for the town and the business district and ends up being a pain-in-the-ass as most of the restaurants have expressed privately about the event.

Anonymous said...

My God, the Lhasa Cafe is absolutely a gem. I will be very disappointed the day they close from lack of patronage.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Walter for your brilliant idea. Which is, um, the block party that happened last fall. Next up you can suggest a form of town government where hundreds of citizens gather.

Walter Graff said...

Sorry just trying to help Amherst get some business. Yes it was the block party last fall a day before the town begged people not to go out because of a mosquito disease and it is the single best idea this town could do. It works well in towns and cities across the US. I worked for a group that put them on in a number of suburban towns in Long Island and each year they grew exponentially.I'm currently developing one for a neighbor just north of us. A better organized version would be far better than what it is now. Restaurants are actually dropping out of it as it's so difficult the way it's presented and rightfully so. Judies should have sampling in front of... well Judies. Isolating an event on the common that is for the town's business' is just plain stupid.

As for your silly government suggestion we already have it. A few people make stupid decisions with no one really in charge and if the bread and circus find out they complain but do little, that is unless someone wants to develop Amherst for the future in their back yard. And even then it's more buying a lawn sign than doing anything direct.

Anonymous said...

So, the reason the Taste averages 20,000 people each year is because it's a flop?

Anonymous said...

I hate the Taste for the too LOUD music. It's so annoying. Do the organizers not notice how the tents closest to the music are always empty or the last to be used? You can't carry on a conversation and it scares the little kids. If they want more business at the taste they should turn down the volume. If I wanted to go to a loud concert I would, this is a dining experience and just a little background volume music would be nice.